In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, the dramatic techniques of language, stagecraft and symbolism are hugely important in portraying the themes and characters which the play is centered around.
The play, being centered around Macbeth’s story, uses the above dramatic techniques to allow the responder to better understand Macbeth. For example, during the second scene, Macbeth is spoken of as “…brave Macbeth- well he deserves that name…” This allowing us as the responder to comprehend the fact that Macbeth is highly respected for his bravery. However, comparing the above quote with the one much later in the play “…wayward son, spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do, loves for his own ends, not for you.” We understand that Macbeth’s character has undergone such a dramatic change in only a short while. Previously a brave and noble knight, Macbeth’s vaulting ambition has caused his mind to deteriorate in such a way that he now uses evil deeds (primarily murder) to achieve his own ambitions.
Another way language is used in the text can be perceived when reading the witches’ couplet: “Fair is foul and foul is fair, hover through the fog and filthy air.” The first line is communicating the fact that things are not what they seem (which is, in fact, one of the themes of the play). The fog symbolises the human emotions (for example, Macbeth’s greed) which cloud people’s perceptions of the truth and reality.
The final example of language use in Macbeth I choose to expand on is the scene in which Lady Macbeth calls upon the spirits to “unsex” her. Her speech:
“…Come you spirits, that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here. And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top full of direst cruelty…”
is imperative to the story line. It allows the responder to know more than Lady Macbeth’s fellow characters. It tells the reader that (once again) all is not as it seems. In order to achieve her great d...